New Rules for Evaluating Seismic Performance of Prefabricated Shear Panels

August 30, 2008
Publication: Structure Magazine p 13-16
Author(s): Ronald Hamburger

Abstract: Structural engineers are increasingly specifying prefabricated shear panels when designing light-frame wood and steel buildings. As architectural designs call for more window and door openings, prefabricated products provide a solution by resisting lateral loads while fitting within the remaining narrow wall segments.|Prefabricated shear panels are still relatively "new" products. Rules by which they are tested, analyzed, and incorporated into a structure continue to evolve. Several manufacturers currently offer proprietary wood and steel shear panel products with International Code Council Evaluation Service (ICC-ES) report recognition. Nearly all of these reports permit proprietary products to be designed with the same code-prescribed seismic coefficients as light-frame wood bearing wall systems sheathed with wood structural panels. While this simplifies the task of incorporating a prefabricated element into the seismic design of a structure, it assumes that prefabricated products will perform in a manner that is both consistent and compatible with benchmark wood structural panel/stud systems. Newly adopted ICC-ES "Acceptance Criteria" help clarify this issue.

Services: Structural Design